Tuesday, March 17, 2009

“Did you ever think a lottery ticket could cause all this”…BSC Super Special # 5: California Girls!

Memory Reaction

The whole basis of the book is that the BSC wins the lottery. Now, I remember how the explanation for a bunch of teenagers buying lottery tickets is that Dawn’s mom buys them. Then there is also this part where Dawn says it isn’t fair that kids can’t buy lottery tickets. I remember this because my nine-year-old self tells believed this, and told my parents that kids should be able to play the lottery. And my mother was like, “um, no they shouldn’t.”

Revisited Reaction

So, yeah, the BSC wins the lottery. Or, Dawn does, and they agree to split the money. It is absurd. The ghostwriter does have the decency to have Dawn only get five out of six numbers – so she only gets $10,000 and not $23 million. But still, it is ridiculous. They use the money to go to California during their next vacation. While there, they each have their own little adventure.

Kristy: Gets super competitive about the baby-sitting club Dawn’s friends started. She agrees to sit for two obnoxious kids, and even takes them to Universal Studios because she thinks she can handle any kids. Then she finds out they really are obnoxious and is a little humbled.

Claudia: Meets a guy on the beach, but is miserable because he is really smart and she doesn’t know how to talk to him. I don’t know why she agrees to go out with him, but she does. Then, after a phone call to Janine she decides to act like herself and they get along. I really wish there was a Super-Special where we got a Janine chapter.

Stacey: Falls in love (or luv!) with surfing and goes to the beach everyday with a bunch of older kids. They get into an accident because the guy driving was reckless, and Carol (Mr. Schafer’s girlfriend) tells her she has to tell Dawn’s father. It is nice to see Stacey have a storyline that doesn’t revolve around a boy (or diabetes).

Dawn: Stresses about her Dad’s girlfriend Carol. Dawn hates her because she acts too “young” but comes around at the end, when Carol acts like an adult after Stacey’s car accident.

Mary Anne: Baby-sits for this girl named Stephie who is basically a young Mary Anne (dead mother, strict father, really shy, etc.). She does have asthma, and Mary Anne is constantly on edge about Stephie having an asthma attack. When she finally relaxes, Stephie DOES have an attack, but recovers fine.

Mallory: Blows her money on a bunch of make up and hair dye. Then gets into a fight with Jessi because Jessi hates the makeup, and because Mal has to keep borrowing money from her. Eventually, Mal realizes the make-up isn’t her and sells it to Stacey/Claud (to pay back Jessi) then dyes her hair back to red.

Jessi: Goes to visit Derek Masters at his TV studio. Then she thinks about becoming an actress, then remembers ballet is her true love. Yawn.


  • Dawn claims she didn’t know there was $23 million in the whole state of CT. Is it just the year that makes this seem cheap? I mean, people don’t usually get super-excited about the lottery until it reaches $100 mil.
  • Claud has been playing the lottery for ages, and her father buys her a ticket every week. Is anyone else surprised that the Kishis (who don’t let their child read Nancy Drew books) let her play the lottery?
  • Dawn claims that the $10,000 works out to $1,428.57. Don’t the ghostwriters know about taxes?
  • Claud Outfit: “A red shirt with Mexican hats and cactus plants printed on it, and blue-and-white-striped pants held up by polka-dotted suspenders. On her head was what looked like an engineer’s cap (it matched her pants), and dangling from her ears were miniature cowboy boots.”
  • Stacey Outfit: “Wide-legged, cropped pants; her Hard Rock Café T-shirt, and high-topped running shoes.”
  • On the plane, Mallory keeps asking Jessi to play hangman, and Jessi keeps blowing her off. It is kind of sad.
  • I wonder if these girls give Mr. Schafer any money for staying there – food for six additional teenage girls for two weeks can’t be cheap.
  • I think I have said this about an Abby book, but do teenagers really make that big a deal about asthma? And shouldn’t they at least have heard about it? Mal doesn’t know what it is.
  • Isn’t it kind of mean for Dawn to write to her mom talking about how Carol is always around?
  • The day after Claudia met Terry (the cute guy) on the beach, Stacey runs into him and gives out Claud’s number. That is kind of rude to do without Claud’s permission.
  • Dawn, Kristy, and Claud buy a set of matching bracelets at a mall. That doesn’t seem like something Kristy would do.
  • Carol tells Claudia to change her personality to get Terry to like her. Dawn correctly calls this a bunch of bullshit (in nicer terms)...although she doesn't follow this advice in other books.
  • Mallory addresses a letter to her parents, “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Pike.” Isn’t her dad’s name John in other books?
  • So, this book does the thing where each chapter tells the same day from different perspectives. So, Mallory tells us all about going to the mall and getting hair dye on Wednesday afternoon. Then, Jessi tells us about waking up and seeing Mal with blonde hair on Wednesday morning.
  • Jessi gets to be an extra on Derek’s show. She says that there are a lot of people hanging around the day she visits. But would there really be that many friends of the cast there? It wasn’t they day of a live taping or anything.
  • I wouldn’t let some 13-year-old I have never met take my kids to Universal Studios (assuming I had kids). But I guess I am not as laid-back as some California mothers, cause they don’t have a problem with it.
  • I know this is done for a reason, but it annoys me to see these girls writing letters to their parents saying, “I’ll tell you more about X later.” If you have something to tell them, say it. Otherwise, don’t bring it up.
  • Claudia wears a Laura Ashley dress on her date with Terry. It is very un-Claudia, but it is probably the best outfit she has ever put together.
  • What kind of 13-year-old boy takes a girl to French restaurants and foreign films?
  • All the Hollywood references are really bizarre. They go and looks for houses owned by Steve Martin and Fred Astaire. That seems like such a random combination of names.
  • Stacey goes to the hospital after the car accident, and the doctors check her, then tell her to call Dawn’s house for a ride herself. Wouldn’t a hospital notify her parents (or Mr. Schafer) before they can treat her? Or at least make sure she tells an adult? They always try and contact the parents on ER (yes, I still watch it).
  • Speaking of which, Stacey and Dawn think that Carol will hide the accident from Dawn’s father.
  • Dawn actually writes a pretty mature letter to Carol at the end of the trip.
  • They go to Medeival Times for dinner on the last day of the trip. I remember that place….when my 10th grade history class went, one of the knight/performers had to break out of character to yell at guys in my school for throwing candles into the stage/area and putting the horses at risk. THEN he yelled at them for forcing him to break character.
  • At the end there is foreshadowing to the next Super Special – Dawn wants to play the lottery again so they can go visit Stacey’s father in New York.


Cari said...

Actually, what Carol says is, "There are some people who change themselves to suit others--" and gets cut off by Dawn. I assumed that she would have finished by saying that wasn't a good idea, but Dawn cut her off all rudely.

nikki said...

Maybe I come from a family of degenerates, but we all LOVE to gamble. My dad used to buy us scratcher tickets all the time. But not "real" lottery tickets...those were all his. We also place wagers on, well, just about anything.

This Super Special is pretty ridiculous.

Sadako said...

Cari, I think you're right. I remember rereading this recently and thinking that Dawn should have let Carol finish her sentence.

Anonymous said...

Hell, my parents took me to Atlantic City for my 8th grade graduation. I'd been picking lottery numbers since I was an infant. Except I'm pretty sure if I actually did win $10K, my folks would haven't have handed it over to me to spend willy-nilly. It would have gone to dental work or college or putting an additional bathroom in.

MsJess said...

Poor Mallory is always the butt monkey in every book. I this one I remember she spends hours in bathroom putting on makeup, which pisses everyone else off since there are only 2-3 bathrooms at Dawn's house and she ends up selling her makeup to Stacy and Cluadia to pay jessi back for all the money she borrowed.

Kait W. said...

This just hit me now: how is makeup designed for a freckly redhead going to look on a blonde and an Asian girl? I'm sure they don't all have the same skin tones.....

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Huh, it never occured to me that Carol was going to say something smart there. Maybe I was just looking to hard for someone to make fun of.

My parents let me do scratch off lottery tickets too. But my parents were not as strict as Claud's...hence my being allowed to read BSC books.

SJSiff said...

The whole thing with addressing postcards to their parents as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" or their siblings as "Ms. Jane Doe" always seemed weird. I write either "(last name) Family" or "John and Jane Doe" on everything, even on my wedding invitations. And these were just postcards they wrote!

maria said...

The babysitters looked age and style appropriate on the cover of this book, with the exception of Kristy and Mallory. Kristy looks like a 9 year old and Mallory had legs for days and looks like a 17 year old (be jealous Claudia and Stacey).

Anonymous said...

I can't recall if Mallory's father's name was John, but I think this is the book where Jessi writes a postcard to her father, "Alex Ramsey." But! Jessi's brother, Squirt's real name is John Philip Ramsey, Jr...if he's a Jr, that MEANS her father is John Ramsey, Sr.

How I remember this is pathetic!

Anonymous said...

Why why why why do they insist on baby-sitting when they are on vacation?

Devika said...

Even if the girls' parents offered to pay Dawn's dad for the food they used, he probably wouldn't accept it. I don't think most parents would take money from guests for food or utilities, especially their kid's friends.

Or maybe I've been unnecessarily generous all these years, and people owe me a lot of money!

nikki said...

I nominated you for an award at my blog.


sexy said...



Nerd Girl said...

It always really bothered me that Mrs. Kishi, a librarian, didn't want Claudia to read the only books she likes to read. EVERY librarian I've ever met encouraged kids to read, no matter what they were reading, and for the Summer Reading Program, any kind of reading counts.

Haids said...

"Poor Mallory is always the butt monkey in every book."

The butt monkey. Oh my gosh, I'm crying!